Lieutenant Lucy O’Connor is an England Navy Boxing International ranked no. 1 in Great Britain and no. 3 in Europe who divides her time between her position as Command, Leadership and Management Officer and Physical Training & Recreation Officer and the Boxing ring.
With a military lifestyle always appealing to Lieutenant O’Connor from an early age, she received an A-level scholarship and a University bursary and went on to join the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (BRNC) on completion of her degree.
Having successfully passed out of BRNC O’Connor completed her sea training onboard HMS Grafton conducting anti-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and on HMS Lindisfarne conducting fishery protection around the British coast.
After a short stint at HMS Collingwood for a warfare officer’s course she joined HMS Nottingham and was deployed to the Arabian Gulf to conduct anti-terrorism operations.
Fancying a broadening appointment O’Connor chose to volunteer for an operational role in Basra, Iraq. She underwent psychological operations training and deployed to sunnier climes to work at Basra Air Stations spending 6 months leading a team in an attempt to win the hearts and minds of the local Iraqis and smooth the transition for international troop withdrawal.
On completion of this role she was appointed temporarily to the Command Training Group, HMS Collingwood, as a course officer for Leadership training courses. Following this short appointment O’Connor moved to HMS Sultan as the Command, Leadership and Management Officer and Physical Training and Recreation Officer. This involved managing the physical development of 2,000 Marine engineering trainees and permanent staff and providing leadership and management training.
After 2 years at HMS Sultan she is still within the Physical Development world but dealing with service-wide policy based at HMS Temeraire. This not only allows her to further her knowledge in the PT world, but it also places her in close proximity to the home of Royal Navy Boxing and access to fantastic coaching and facilities.
Throughout University O’Connor played a number of sports but it wasn’t until well into her Royal Navy training that she picked up her first pair of boxing gloves during general training on board HMS Grafton in 2002.
Whilst on common fleet time training in the Caribbean, the ships company enjoyed a summer fete on the flight deck. One of the attractions was to pay a pound and get in the ring with the PTI, a heavyweight champion boxer, and try your luck. O’Connor duly paid her pound, donned the gloves, and came out victorious having delivered a lucky punch and a black eye to the champion.
Requiring a serious fitness regime and the loss of a considerable amount of weight, she was subsequently recruited for boxing training in preparation for the Navy Novice championships when the ship returned to base port. One year later and three stone lighter, she was training every day of the week with the Royal Navy Boxing Squad in ‘The Sport of Kings’.
The initial intention to get fit soon turned competitive and O’Connor stepped in the ring for her first bout in June 2005. She is now the no. 1 female featherweight in Britain, has represented England on 15 occasions, and is ranked no. 3 in Europe and no. 5 in the World.
O’Connor identified three highlights of her career so far:
“The first was a Royal Navy Boxing team tour to Barbados. I was the only female in a group of 25 and on this occasion I beat the Pan AM boxing champion.”
“My second highlight was winning my first major championship medal in 2008 in the European Union Women’s Boxing Championships. It was the first major female competition to be held in England and to win gold in front of a home crowd was very special.”
“My final highlight was at the recent Women’s World Boxing Championships in China. It was an awesome experience to represent my country at the highest level and I was pleased to secure a world ranking of 5th at my weight.”
“My ultimate aim is of course to win an Olympic Gold Medal but until then my training continues, three times a day six days a week to continue my bid to represent England and the Royal Navy at the highest level of international sport.”
The Royal Navy and the Royal Marines will be present at the Careers Events, to find out more about life as a Naval Officer visit: www.royalnavy.mod.uk